Monday, February 29, 2016

Yashoda Jayanti

Yashoda Jayanti

Tales are forever told of the epitome- that is Mother's love. A love so divine, so strong that nothing compares. An un-conditionality that is not found else where and that is the strength of a Mother. She who loves her child irrespective of the world around, for whom there is nothing more perfect than her little one. She can nurture as well as ferociously growl at any adversary that may come towards her child, such is the love of a Mother. One such Mother of legend is Yashoda. 


Yashoda is the foster-mother to Lord Krishna and wife of Nanda in the Puranic texts of Hinduism. Within the Bhagavata Purana, it is described that Krishna who was born to Devaki, was given to Yashoda and Nanda in Gokul exchanging her daughter Subhadra by Krishna's father Vasudeva on the night of his birth, for his protection from Devaki's brother, Kansa, the king of Mathura.

According to Devi Bhagwat Purana, Kansa, the ruler of Mathura had decided to kill his sister Devaki's son Krishna as soon as he was born. In order to protect Krishna from Kansa, Krishna and Yogamaya were born at the same time from the wombs of Devaki and Yashoda respectively and were exchanged by Vasudeva. Krishna survived as foster son of Yashoda. While Kansa tried to kill Yogamaya, Yashoda's daughter, she assumes her real form as a Devi and disappears. She then retires to dwell in Vindhya hills and is popularly known as Vindhyavasini Devi.

The day of Yashoda Jayanti is celebrated as her birthday and the prayer of Lord Krishna are recited. 

Prayer for the Day

Krishna krishna hare krishna hare hare
Shri krishna govind hare murari
Hey nath narayan vasudeva
Ek maat swami sakha hamare
Hey nath narayan vasudeva
Bandi grah ke tum avtaari
Kahi janme kahi pale murari
Kisi ke jaaye kisi ke kahaye
Hai adbhut har baat tihari
Gokul mein chamke mathura ke tare
Hey nath narayan vasudeva
Shri krishna govind hare murari
Hey nath narayan vasudeva
Adhar mein banshi hriday mein radhe
Bat gaye dono mein aadhe aadhe
Hey radha nagar hey bhakt vatsal
Sadaiv bhakto ke kaam sadhe
Vahin gaye vahin gaye jaha gaye pukare
Hey nath narayan vasudeva
Radhe krishna radhe krishna
Radhe radhe krishna krishna

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Utpana Ekadasi

The merits of Fasting on an Ekadasi has well been listed. Since times long, the praying and fasting on the day of Ekadasi has been held dear. To abstain from grains and devote one self in the name of the Lord is much desirous on this day. Yes, we do not need specific days to remember the God Supreme, but amidst our busy schedules these days remind us that there is one above towards whom we need to be grateful.

Utpanna Ekadashi is another holy day that is observed on Ekadashi Tithi (the eleventh day). The day of Utpanna Ekadashi takes place during the months of November-December. This Ekadasi is considered as the origin of Ekadasi .

Mythological Significance

In Satya Yuga, there was an awful Demon named Mura. Mura was extremely powerful and awful. With his extraordinary powers Mura defeated not only God Indra but also many other Gods and stared ruling Indra Loka. To end the tyranny of Mura all Gods went to Lord Shiva to seek some help. Lord Shiva suggested them to approach Lord Vishnu, the master of all three Lokas.

Lord Vishnu decided to defeat Demon Mura to help Gods. Lord Vishnu and Gods reached Chandravati, the ruling city of Mura. Lord Vishnu was at one side and Demon Mura with all his army was at the other side. As story goes, Lord Vishnu annihilated whole army of Mura with His Sudarshan Chakra and the divine Gada but all His weaponry proved ineffective in front of Demon Mura power. Neither His Sudarshan Chakra nor His Gada was able to cut the head and break the neck of Demon Mura.

The prolonged battle converted into Malla Yuddha (मल्लयुद्ध), one to one fight without any weaponry. It is believed that the fight between Lord Vishnu and Mura continued for 10,000 years. On seeing no end to this endless battle Lord Vishnu stopped fighting and went to Badrikashram to take rest at Hemvati Caves.

Demon Mura chased Lord Vishnu and reached Badrikashram. Demon Mura found Lord Vishnu sleeping and thought it to be a great opportunity to kill Lord Vishnu. To counter attack such a devilish feeling inside Demon Mura, a powerful girl was born out of divine body of Lord Vishnu. The girl was glorious, powerful and adorned with all sorts of weaponry to protect Lord Vishnu. This feminine power of Lord Vishnu defeated Mura in the fight and killed him after putting Her leg on his chest and cutting his head.

All Gods started praising the girl for Her extraordinary power. When Lord Vishnu awoke, He was unaware about His own power and insisted the girl to introduce herself. The girl introduced herself as the luster of Lord Vishnu itself who was born out of Yoga Maya of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu was extremely pleased with His feminine power and asked Her to seek any reward in return for the great work.

The girl asked "Please bestow me the power so that anyone who observes the fasting for me would get rid of all sort of sins and get salvation. Please bless me so that I become the most significant among all pilgrimages and able to bestow Dharma, Dhanya and Moksha to my devotees."

Lord Vishnu blessed the girl and told "You would be known as Ekadashi as you were born on Ekadashi Tithi. You would be worshipped in all Yugas not only by humans but also by Gods. Nothing else would please me more than Ekadashi fasting. Your devotees will enjoy all sorts of worldly pleasure and would get salvation at the end of their life."

Prayer for the Day

Om Namo Narayana

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Mahalaya Amavas

Mahalaya Amavas

Every moment, everything around us is a gift. The intelligence with which we live our lives,
the knowledge to read, the knowhow of everything possible is but a gift. This very life that 
we live, is a gift. A gift from the ones who were before us. All those great men and women, 
who contributed for us being here.

Be it science or the mystery of creation, human life changed the day man decided to live
together. To give up his wanderings and to settle in a place called home. When emotions 
like love, harmony, trust and respect found their place and a family was made. The family ,
that we are proud of. The heritage that we take pride in - each of it is a gift. One we have to be
eternally grateful for. The ancestors are the foundation of who we are, they are of us, and they 
once were where we are now

Mahalaya Amavasya, the new moon falling in the Hindu Month of Bhadraprada is one such
occasion where homage is paid to our ancestors. Those because of whom we are. This is a day 
to feel humbled, for we would be nothing if not for them. We might reach great heights in life, 
but it is the ancestors we have to forever bow our heads for in gratitude.

Mythological Significance

According to the legend, Karna the hero from Mahabharata was very generous. After his death
when his soul reached heaven he was offered thousand folds more gold and silver in return of 
the charity he had done on Earth. However, he was never offered food. When he asked lord 
Yama the reason, he was told that he would be given whatever he had donated on earth. So he 
prayed to lord Yama and was granted life for 14 more days. During these 14 days he went to 
earth and fed the poor and offered oblations of water. Thus these 14 days came to be known 
as Mahalaya Paksha or Pitru Paksha.

Method of Observing Mahalaya Amavas

It is believed in Hindu tradition that when a person is born, he is born with three debts-
  • Deva Rina (debt towards god)
  • Acharya Rina (debt towards Guru)
  • Pitru Rina( debt towards forefathers and elders)

The Pitru Paksha is for remembering the departed ancestors and performing certain rites to clear the 
Pitru Rina and ensure their salvation(moksha)and our wellbeing.

"Pitru" means ancestors and "Paksha" means lunar period. The fifteen days of the dark fortnight 
(krishna paksha) of the month of Bhadrapada (according to the lunar calendar) or the month of
Ashwin (according to the solar calendar) is considered Pitru Paksha- an ideal period for 
performing Pindadaan,Sharaddh and Tarpan for the forefathers.

The legend underlying the choice of this particular fortnight has its origin in the epic Mahabharata. 
The Mahalaya paksha are these fourteen days that Karna spent on earth and because of this, the 
God of Death, ordained that the offerings that he made on the last fourteen days would not only 
benefit him but all the departed souls immaterial of them being related to you or not. And the most 
important day is the last day or the fourteenth day, which is Mahalaya Amavasya and this is the 
day when Hindus offer food, obsequies and oblations for the departed souls. It is the Pitr paksha 
and is important for all the Hindus.

Since Amavasyas are usually the days when Hindus offer obsequies and food for departed souls,
these days are considered inauspicious. Whereas Mahalaya amavasya is the day when Hindus 
offer Shraddha, which is considered auspicious and gratifying.   On this day there is a conjunction 
of the sun and the moon and the Sun enters the Kanya rashi (Virgo). And it is said that the 
ancestors descend on earth to accept the rites from their descendents and this is the significance 
of this day. On these days, Hindus do not eat non-veg, onions or garlic 
and spend the day reciting hymns and prayers. Other Amavasya days are also sombre days and
there are no festivities attached to it. Since these days are usually meant for remembering our 
ancestors or elders who are no more, there is a certain amount of mourning attached to it.  

There needs to be no reason to help the needy, to feed the poor or to remember our ancestors.
Mahalaya Amavas is another occasion , where you are reminded to help those not as fortunate 
as you are and to offer prayers and remembrance to those who are long departed. Reflect on their 
lives, reflect on your.s Contemplate on all that they did for you , and realize the potential of all that 
you can do for your future generations. For this life that we have is a gift that we have received , 
and a gift that we must share.

Prayer to the Ancestors

"To all those whose names are remembered [list all the names of the ancestors as far back as you
can remember].  To all those whose names are forgotten, lost in the oceans of time.  To all those 
whose bones are buried in and upon the earth.  To all those whose ashes are scattered to the four 
winds.  To you, from the living.  May the Divine Assistance remain always with us, and may the 
souls of the Faithful Departed, through the Mercy of God, rest in peace.  "

Blessed be

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Honouring the New Moon

There is never a right moment to bring positive changes into our lives. Nor is there a set method to honor the Gods. Every sunrise brings along a day of truth and one filled with hope and promises.. Rituals are a way to mark turning points in our lives. They can be used to symbolically welcome changes in our life. They can be simple or elaborate ones. The most important thing is our full presence in the moment. It's important to come up with a ritual that has meaning , instead of trying to follow any set guidelines. You're the one that knows your personal story best, and what to lift out of that narrative, what will infuse your ritual with power.


The time of the new moon is a time to breathe in deeply and move into a calm state of mind. In this state, you can watch your emo­tions come and go and not be affected by them. In this calm­ness, you begin to see your life more clearly; you begin to see what is possible. New Moon workings can be done from the day of the new moon to three-and-a-half days after. The new moon is for starting new ventures, new beginnings. Also love and romance, health or job hunting. The New Moon is as powerful in its own way as the Full Moon. It is a time for taking stock. It is a phase of hibernation, retreat, and contemplation. Avoid crowds and gatherings and seek a little time for yourself. Rest is crucial during the New Moon. Simple foods and quiet times are powerful healers. Many women menstruate with the New Moon.

New Moon Solitary Ritual

Items Needed:

·        Cedar or sage smudging wand
·        White candle
·        Bell
·        Athame

Cast the Circle

Use the smudging wand to purify the space as you move around the circle.

Invocation to the Goddess:

Ring bell with your arms in the Goddess position (arms in a V above your head). Say these, or similar, words:

Great Hecate
Queen of the Underworld
Protectress of all Wicca
It is my will on this night of the new moon
to overcome my shadows
and bring about change
I invite you to my circle to assist and protect me in my rite.

Invocation to the God:

Hold your athame with your hands in the God position (crossed over your chest) Say these, or similar, words:

Great Anubis,
God of Protection
It is my will on this night of the new moon
to overcome my shadows
to bring about change
I invite you to my circle
to assist me and protect me in my rite.

Statement of intent:

Say these, or similar, words:

Dark is the night as I reach this turning point
Here is a time of death, yet a time of rebirth.
Endings and beginnings
Ebbings and flowings
A journey done and a journey yet to start.
As the wheel turns, I see birth, death and rebirth
and I know that every end is a beginning.


Remember a time in your life when you were miserable, depressed and felt like you couldn't go on. Let the painful memories overtake you, feeling yourself weaken and become frightened. Put yourself back in that pain-filled time in your life. As you meditate on that time, sink down the floor and curl up in an embryonic position. You are completely obsessed by pain and depression. The shadows around you lengthen and darkness spreads.

Then arise!

Light your white candle and hold it high overhead. Say these, or similar, words:

In darkness, there is light!
I feel energy and life returning to me!
I feel my heartbeat strong
I feel the power of the universe and the power of the Goddess and
God within me.

Pass the candle over your body, tuning in completely with the light, feeling its power heal and protect you. Allow its rays to completely penetrate your being, healing and cleansing you. As you are doing this, chant

Let the light cast out all darkness

Offer the God and Goddess Ale and Cake.

Thank the God and Goddess for their presence

Significance to Self
  • Collect Items of Significance to the Goal you are creating or empowering.
  • Clear your Energy to get centered:Take a salt bath or space clear your energy with sage, a feather or a flame.
  • Get Grounded: connects with the elements of air, water, fire and earth.
  • Set Your Intentions: declare to the new moon what your vision is, declare it boldly and with courage
  • Do one Symbolic Act
  • Express Gratitude: from your heart and your soul believe that this Is granted to and express gratitude.
  • Act: after your ritual or ceremony. Act. Take those steps forward toward your goal daily. You will be surprised by what transpires between now and the next Full Moon, a time of manifestation.

Blessed be...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Karva Chauth

Karva Chauth

To celebrate the one you love. To honour the one you forever want to be with. A day of love, honour and respect, firmly tied with the strings of a prayer. “Karva Cahuth”.

Karwa is another word for pot (a small earthen pot of water) and chauth means 'fourth' in Hindi (a reference to the fact that the festival falls on the fourth day of the dark-fortnight, or krishna paksh, of the month of Kartik). Karwa Chauth is an annual one-day festival celebrated by Hindu women.

Mythological Significance

The Story of Queen Veeravati

A long long time ago, there lived a beautiful princess named Veeravati. The only sister of seven loving brothers, she was married to a king. On the occasion of her first Karva Chauth after her marriage, she went to her parents' house. After sunrise, she observed a strict fast. However, the queen couldn't stand the rigors method of fasting and was desperately waiting for the moon to rise. The seven brothers who loved her dearly, were very disturbed watching the distress of their sister and decided to end her fast by deceiving her. Then the brothers reflected a mirror through Pipal tree leaves. The sister, believing it to be the moon, broke her fast and consumed food. However, the moment the queen ate her dinner, she received the news that her husband, the king, was seriously ill.

The queen rushed to her husband's palace and on the way, she met Lord Shiva and his consort, Goddess Parvati. Parvati informed her that the king had died because the queen had broken her fast by watching a false moon. However, when the queen asked her for forgiveness, the goddess granted her the boon that the king would be revived. But to achieve this, she would have to undertake the Karva Chauth fast under strict rituals, only then her husband would come be alive. Thus, by strictly following all the rituals of Karva chauth, queen Veeravati brought back her husband from the dead.

The Legend of Mahabharata

The belief in this fast and its associated rituals goes back to the pre-Mahabharata times. Draupadi, too, is said to have observed this fast. Once Arjun went to the Nilgiris for penance and the rest of the Pandavas faced many problems in his absence. Draupadi, out of desperation, remembered Lord Krishna and asked for help. Lord Krishna reminded her that on an earlier occasion, when Goddess Parvati had sought Lord Shivas guidance under similar circumstances, she had been advised to observe the fast of Karva Chauth. Draupadi followed the instructions and observed the fast with all its rituals. Consequently, the Pandavas were able to overcome their problems. On this day, fasting women listen to Karva Chauth legends with rapt attention.

The Story of Satyavan and Savitri 

There is the story of the Satyavan and Savitri. When Lord Yama, came to procure Satyavan's soul, Savitri begged him to grant him life. When he refused, she stopped eating and drinking and Yamraj finally relented. He granted her, her husband's life. To this day, Karva Chauth is celebrated with great faith and belief.

The Legend of Karva

According to another legend, a woman named Karva was deeply devoted to her husband. One day while bathing, he was caught by a crocodile. Karva came running and bound the crocodile with a cotton yarn. She then went to Yama, the Lord of the death, and requested him to send the offending crocodile to hell. When Yama refused, she threatened to curse him. Afraid of the power of a devoted wife, Yama readily accepted and sent the crocodile to Yamalok or hell, and blessed Karva's husband with long life

Method to Observe the Karwa Chauth Vrath

The Start Of The Day

On this day the women get up before sunrise. They worship Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh, Kartikeya and the moon. The blessings of the Gods are invoked for longevity and prosperity of their husbands and children. Mothers-in-law give their daughters-in-law sumptuous food called 'Sargi' to eat before sunrise, as the fast starts before sunrise and ends only after worshiping the moon at night. It is a tough fast, as the women do not take any food or water.

Dressing Up

In the evening, the women rejoice by adorning bridal finery. Many times, the newly wed wear their wedding dress on this auspicious occasion, usually the ghagra-choli or Banarsi saris, embellished with the old-new shimmer of gold, diamonds and rubies. After dressing up, she receives gifts from the mother-in-law.

Evening Puja

Before evening, the married woman receives the baya or a basket full of goodies from her mother, which is meant for the mother-in-law. The basket contains sweets, mathadi, fruits and a sari. Before the sun sets, most of the women in a locality gather in one house and prepare a corner for the puja. This puja chowk is beautifully decorated and a small platform is prepared against a wall. On this, the image of Gauri Mata or Goddess Parvati is placed. In the olden days, this image was made of cow-dung.

The Process Of Puja 

The women sit around this image with their bayas. Each woman also places a karva or a pitcher full of water and seven pieces of pua in front of her. It is adorned with kharia, aipun and a little roli. A red thread is tied around the karva. At the beginning of the puja, women apply the roli teeka to Goddess Gauri and also to themselves. With the thumb and the third finger of the right hand, water is sprinkled on the image of the goddess. The same procedure is repeated with aipun and roli . Lastly, rice is showered on the image.

Narration of Vrata Katha

An elderly woman of the family narrates the legend of Karva Chauth. Even a widow can narrate this story. The women then pray for the long life and welfare of their husbands. While chanting the prayers, they pass their bayas from one to another. The wait for the moon rise begins after sunset, and as soon as the moon is sighted, prayers are offered to the moon. The fasting women first observe the moon through a sieve and then break their fast. The first sip of water and the first morsel of food is offered by the husband.

The elderly woman recites stories, explaining the significance of the fast and the true meaning of love. In the pauses, the Karwa Chauth puja song is sung collectively and the singers perform the feris (passing their thalis around in the circle).

Veero kudiye karwara, Sarv suhagan karwara, Aye katti naya teri naa, Kumbh chrakhra feri naa, Aar pair payeen naa, Ruthda maniyen naa, Suthra jagayeen naa, Ve veero kuriye karwara, Ve sarv suhagan karwara..

Veero kudiye karwara, Sarv suhagan karwara, Aye katti naya teri nee, Kumbh chrakhra feri bhee, Aar pair payeen bhee, Ruthda maniyen bhee, Suthra jagayeen bhee, Ve veero kuriye karwara, Ve sarv suhagan karwara...

Sadaa suhagan karve lo, Pati ki pyari karve lo, Saat bhaiyon ke behen karve lo, Vart karni karve lo, Saas ki pyaari karve lo..”

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Month of Oak

We call ourselves advanced and developed and still we fail to acknowledge essentials that our ancestors respected and honored. Our very existence on this planet is a boon of Mother Nature, but every so often we fail to recognize it. The Celts, though an ancient civiliasation recognized this fact and honored a tree every month. The period between June 10th and July 7th is dedicated to the great Oak and it represents the letter ‘D’ in the Ogham alphabet.
·         Planet: Jupiter and Mars
·         Element: Water
·         Symbolism: Sovereignty, rulership, power,  Strength & Endurance, Generosity & Protection, Justice & Nobility, Honesty & Bravery
·         Stone: Diamond, Aventuring
·         Metal: Gold
·         Birds: Oriole, Wren
·         Color: Gold
·         Deity: The Dagda, The Green Man, Janus, Diana, Cybele, Hecate, Pan
·         Sabbat: Summer Solstice (Litha)
·         Folk Names: Jove's Nuts, Juglans

Zodiacal Significance
Oak - The Stabilizer
June 10 - July 7
Those born under the Celtic tree astrology sign of the Oak have a special gift of strength. They are protective people and often become a champion for those who do not have a voice. In other words, the Oak is the crusader and the spokesperson for the underdog. Nurturing, generous and helpful, you are a gentle giant among the Celtic zodiac signs. You exude an easy confidence and naturally assume everything will work out to a positive outcome. You have a deep respect for history and ancestry, and many people with this sign become teachers. You love to impart your knowledge of the past to others. Oak signs have a need for structure, and will often go to great lengths to gain the feeling of control in their lives. Healthy Oak signs live long, full, happy lives and enjoy large family settings and are likely to be involved with large social/community networks. Oak signs pair off well with the Ash and Reed, and are known to harmoniously join with Ivy signs too. 
The Oak is a sacred tree across various cultures. Oak also forms a part of the magical trio of Oak, Ash and Thorn. The concept of a divine World Tree or Tree of Life, the mythic bridge between the worlds of god and human, is entwined with the veneration of trees. As an embodiment of the universe, the roots of the World tree inhabit the underground, the deep knowledge of earth. The trunk unites the roots with the upper celestial canopy. The products given by each tree were considered a physical manifestation of divine providence.
To the Greeks, Romans, Celts, Slavs and Teutonic tribes the oak was foremost amongst venerated trees, and in each case associated with the supreme god in their pantheon, oak being sacred to Zeus, Jupiter, Dagda, Perun and Thor, respectively. Each of these gods also had dominion over rain, thunder and lightning, and it is surely no coincidence that oak trees appear to be more prone to lightning strikes than other trees, whether because of their wood's low electrical resistance or the fact that they were frequently the largest, tallest living things in the landscape.
Ancient kings presented themselves as the personifications of these gods, taking on the responsibility not only for success in battle but also the fertility of the land, which relied on rainfall. They wore crowns of oak leaves, as a symbol of the god they represented as kings on Earth. Similarly, successful Roman commanders were presented with crowns of oak leaves during their victory parades, and oak leaves have continued as decorative icons of military prowess to the present day.
Its name derives from the Anglo-Saxon word, ac, but in Irish the word is 'daur', and in Welsh 'dar' or 'derw', probably cognate with the Greek, 'drus'. Pliny, who lived in Gaul during the 1st century CE. He writes that the Druids performed all their religious rites in oak-groves, where they gathered mistletoe from the trees with a golden sickle. Strabo also describes three Galatian tribes (Celts living in Asia Minor) as holding their councils at a place called, ‘Drunemeton’, the ‘oak grove sanctuary’. The 2nd century Maximus of Tyre, describes the Celts as worshipping Zeus-- probably referring to the Romano-Celtic god of thunder, Taranis- as a tall oak tree. Elsewhere we learn that the Druids of Gaul ate acorns as a way of divining the future. Another Roman writer referred to them as ‘Dryads’ whom he defined as ‘those who delight in the oaks’
The oak is considered a cosmic storehouse of wisdom embodied within its towering strength. Ancient Celts observed the oak's massive growth and impressive expanse. They took this as a clear sign that the oak was to be honored for its endurance, and noble presence.
·         Life
·         Strength
·         Wisdom
·         Nobility
·         Family
·         Loyalty
·         Power
·         Longevity
·         Heritage
·         Honor
The oak is a living legend representing all that is true, wholesome, stable, and noble. When you are in need of stability and strength in your life - envision the oak in your mind eye. Picture yourself drawing into its endless energy waves. Soon, you will find yourself sharing in its power. There is a reason the oak is considered the king of green realm. The oak is generous with its gifts - just as any good ruler shares its bounty amongst the kingdom.
During this time of year, it is said that the Druids would carve a circle into the tree for protection against lightning. They used the sacred tree for medicinal purposes and divinatory purposes as well. Ancient Celtic priestess's were said to listen to the rustling of the Oak leaves to receive divine messages.
Medicinal properties: The medicinal park of the Oak is its bark, because of the strong astringent properties. Internally as a tea it helps fight diarrhea and dysentery. Externally it can be used to treat hemorrhoids, inflamed gums, wounds, and eczema. The tannin found in oak can help reduce minor blistering by boiling a piece of the bark in a small amount of water until a strong solution is reached, and applying to the affected area.  To cure frostbite, American folk medicine called for collecting oak leaves that had remained on the tree all through the winter. These leaves were boiled to obtain a solution in which the frostbitten extremities would soak for an hour each day for a week. 
Magickal properties: Dreaming of resting under an oak tree means you will have a long life and wealth. Climbing the tree in your dream means a relative will have a hard time of it in the near future. Dreaming of a fallen oak means the loss of love. If you catch a falling oak leaf you shall have no colds all winter. If someone does get sick, warm the house with an oakwood fire to shoo away the illness. Carry an acorn against illnesses and pains, for immortality and youthfulness, and to increase fertility and sexual potency.
The Oak moon falls during a time when the trees are beginning to reach their full blooming stages. The mighty Oak is strong, powerful, and typically towering over all of its neighbors. The Oak King rules over the summer months, and this tree was sacred to the Druids. The Celts called this month Duir, which some scholars believe to mean "door", the root word of "Druid". The Oak is connected with spells for protection and strength, fertility, money and success, and good fortune. Carry an acorn in your pocket when you go to an interview or business meeting; it will be bring you good luck. If you catch a falling Oak leaf before it hits the ground, you'll stay healthy the following year.
Growth and fertility spells work best at this time of the year. Focus on building and consolidation your wisdom, endurance and security.
The Oak Chant
I honor the energy of oak, the doorway to the mysteries.
I will call upon the strength of the Horned One when I feel in need of protection.
So mote it be

Monday, June 3, 2013

Apara Ekadasi

Apara Ekadasi occurs during the waning phase of moon in the month of Jyeshtha (May – June). Fasting on this Ekadashi is beneficial to those people who are suffering from remorse or guilt due to sin or sins committed. One can attain moksha by observing a fast on Apara Ekadasi.

Krishna also mentions that one who observes this particular Ekadashi will become famous through meritorious deeds. Observing this Ekadasi removes the remorse associated with not performing a particular action, when the person had the opportunity to do it but shied away.

Mythological Significance

Sri Yudhishthira Maharaj said, "Oh Janardana, what is the name of the Ekadasi that occurs during the dark fortnight (krishna paksha) of the month of Jyeshtha (May-June)? I wish to hear from You the glories of this sacred day of Hari. Please narrate everything to me"

Lord Sri Krishna said, "Oh king, your inquiry is wonderful because the answer will benefit the whole human society. This Ekadasi is so sublime and meritorious that even the greatest sins can be erased by its purity.
"Oh great saintly king, the name of this unlimitedly meritorious Ekadasi is Apara Ekadasi. Whoever fasts on this holy day becomes famous all over the universe. Even such sins as killing a brahmana, a cow, or an embryo; blasphemy; or having sex with another man's wife are completely eradicated by observing Apara Ekadasi.

Oh king people who bear false witness are most sinful. A person who falsely or sarcastically glorifies another; one who cheats while weighing something on a scale; one who fails to execute the duties of his varna or Ashrama (an unqualified man's posing as a brahmin, for example, or a person's reciting the Vedas wrongly); one who invents his own scriptures; one who cheats others; one who is a charlatan astrologer, a cheating accountant, or a false Ayurvedic doctor. All these are surely as bad as persons who bears false witness, and they are all destined for hellish punishments. But simply by observing Apara Ekadasi, all such sinners become completely free of their sinful reactions.

Warriors who fall from their kshatriya-dharma and flee the battlefield go to a ferocious hell. But, Oh Yudhishthira, even such a fallen kshatriya, if he observes fasting on the Apara Ekadasi, is freed of that great sinful reaction and goes to heaven. That disciple is the greatest sinner who, after receiving a proper spiritual education from his spiritual master, turns around and blasphemes him. Such a so-called disciple suffers unlimitedly. But even he, rascal though he be, if he simply observes Apara Ekadasi, can attain to the spiritual world.

In other words, Apara Ekadasi is an axe that cuts down the fully matured forest full of trees of sinful deeds, it is a forest fire that burns sins as if they were kindling firewood, it is the sun blazing before one's dark misdeeds, and it is a lion stalking the meek deer of impiety. Therefore, Oh Yudhishthira, whoever truly fears his past and present sins must observe Apara Ekadasi very strictly. One who does not observe this fast must be born again in the material world, like one bubble among millions in a huge body of water, or like a small ant among all other species. Therefore one must faithfully observe the sacred Apara Ekadasi and worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Trivikrama. One who does so is freed of all his sins and promoted to the abode of Lord Vishnu.

Oh Bharata, for the benefit of all humanity I have thus described to you this the importance of the holy Apara Ekadasi. Anyone who hears or reads this description is certainly freed from all kinds of sins, oh best of saintly kings, Yudhishthira. Thus ends the narration of the glories of Jyeshtha-krishna Ekadasi, or Apara Ekadasi, from the Brahmanda Purana.

Lord Trivikarma

The demon-king Bali became so powerful that he threatened cosmic order and the gods themselves. At the god's behest, Vishnu appeared on earth in his fifth incarnation as the dwarf Vamana. As a brahmin student holding the traditional waterpot and parasol, Vamana petitioned the king for a gift of land. Vamana asked only for what he could encompass in three steps, to which the king, famed for his generosity, readily agreed. Vamana instantly assumed cosmic proportions, and in three strides over the earth, atmosphere and heaven, reclaimed the universe from Bali. For this reason he is known as Vishnu 'of the three steps' (trivikrama).

Chant for the day

Om Namo Narayana